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Chart of the Month – September 2006 – Complex Table to Graphic Layout

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Convert a Complex Table to a Graphic Layout

The Industry Snapshot

It is generally agreed that a graphic layout is preferable to a table whenever possible. It is also generally understood that the more data/information a table contains, the more difficult it is to convert to a graphic. This month's chart is a great example of a successful conversion!

Granted, it takes a bit longer to develop this type of layout, but the result is well worth the effort. Here's the inventory of information presented:

  • Emergence and historical account of the industry as a whole
  • Companies participating in the industry
    • When they entered
    • Size
    • Type of participation within the industry
  • Major technology advances that affected the industry (which can be labeled)
  • Government regulations that affected the industry (which can be labeled)
  • Phases of the industry to date
  • Interpretation of the phases.

Creating this Chart

  • Begin by creating a bubble chart with the data for each industry participant - remember to input the data so that the bubbles are colored according to each company's type of participation
  • Duplicate the data-driven chart and ungroup it; each bubble will be then be available for placement along the timeline (the original, grouped data-driven chart needs to be saved for future updates - just place it in the gray area off the page)
  • Place the timeline on your slide and apply the year text
  • Position the bubbles and company names along the timeline
  • Place and identify the technology advancement indicators along the timeline
  • Place and identify the government regulation indicators along the timeline
  • Place and identify any other influencers along the timeline
  • Analyze the history of industry and identify its phases
  • Interpret and label the phases.

Once this chart has been developed, it can be updated and become a staple in your cupboard of presentation slides.

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